Kågtinden East N-S traverse

Lyngen

A steep skiing traverse - no summits, no tick list item, just pure steep skiing. Experts only!

Ski Touring Severe

Distance
8.8 km
Ascent
1.2 km
Descent
1.2 km
Duration
5-6 hrs
Low Point
16 m
High Point
1 km
Gradient
48˚
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Kågtinden East N-S traverse Map

Description

When skiing around Kågen, two areas will inevitably draw the attention of dedicated steep skiers: The north face of Kågtinden east summit, with its three couloirs, and the massive faces on the south side. This route combines both in a challenging steep skiing traverse adventure.

Like so many adventures on Kågen, the route starts at a tiny parking lot beneath Isbuktvatnet lake. You may want to park a second car near the bridge to Skjervøy, the end point.

From the parking you head up to the lake Isbuktvatnet. Crossing the lake is usually OK into May...but that varies from year to year. You can skirt around the lake on the looker's right side. The next sections feel exposed from above, but the bottom section is easy to travel through and quickly behind you.

At about 800 m you are reaching the bottom of the couloir, and it`s boot-packing time. Find a place to get over the bergschrund. Crampons and ice axe are essential. While not super-steep, the route is exposed – in the upper section you are moving over a rock-band, and a fall could have high consequences. The top of the couloir is at about 900 m. Access to the east summit (1165 m) is blocked by a narrow ridge with rock towers composed of bad rock, and reaching it from this point would involve sketchy scrambling/climbing and rope-use. You have two options:

A) Ski down the route you came up. At 45°+, it may not seem too severe, but the rock band beneath you during the first turns make this a very serious undertaking.

B) Continue to ski down the south face: The entry is just a few meters to the SW. There are several options, but the best is a large couloir-like run at about 45°+, with great fall-line skiing in breathtaking surroundings. The line takes you down into the large amphitheater between the main and east summits, and onwards to Storbuktvatnet at 320m. From there it is mellow terrain back to the road – pick your route here, depending if you have another car parked near the bridge, or need to head back to the starting point on foot. In case of needing to go back, the easiest may just to go to the road and walk back on the road.

NOTES:

a) These are obviously serious routes for experienced and skilled steep skiers/ski mountaineers. Route-finding skills are essential, as well as risk-management skills. The south face sees sun, and appropriate timing is crucial.

b) The line is drawn from memory, NOT GPS – do not blindly follow it. See point a).

The first recorded descent of the south face route was done by Mads Andreassen and Peter Schön (author) in May 2017. They came up the left north couloir, which is significantly steeper and not recommended to repeat. Peter Schön also made the 2nd recorded ski descent of the right couloir, which is the ascent route described here.

Difficulty

Severe

Steep skiing at 38-45 degrees. This requires very good technique and the risk of falling has serious consequences.

High Exposure (E3)

3 out of 4

In case of a fall, death is highly likely.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

April, May, June

Features

  • Face
  • Alpine
  • Cliffs
  • Couloir
  • Ski Mountaineering

Equipment required

  • Skins
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area